NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Quitting Time

April 9, 1998

Americans are increasingly scaling back their careers or even quitting lucrative jobs to spend more time with their families, according to data from Trends Research Institute. Researchers say the trend is being fueled by a mid-life crisis affecting the first wave of the baby boom generation.

  • The institute reports that as many as 25 percent of Americans will attempt to scale back their lives to some degree in the next 10 years -- compared to about 15 percent today.
  • The quest to scale back career ambitions and obligations affects both men and women -- often at the peak of their careers -- and a large number are high-income earners with advanced degrees and excellent resumes.
  • Many think they can take the risk because of the buoyant economy and the rising tide of two-income families.
  • Observers of the trend report that a decision to scale back may be prompted by a recent illness, a death in the family, the birth of a child or a bad experience at work.

Source: Stephanie Armour, "'Downshifters' Choose Less Stress Over Success," USA Today, April 9, 1998.


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